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IICptMillerII

Combat Mission AAR: MSR Titan

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@IICptMillerII, that was exciting that’s for sure . 

I think it clearly shows two things:

1.  The M1 is just a superior tank versus the Russian made tanks.  

2.  Your opponent made a serious mistake with both of those Tank Companies, namely they were concentrated in a relatively tight grouping.  This made your target solutions easier than if he had spread them out... concentrate your fire not your tanks.  

This is a fun read!  

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8 hours ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

Wow!  :o

Lucky they were only T-72AVs.....Something with decent sights could have seriously ruined your day, right there!

Do you know what tank strength you are facing?  You seem to have destroyed a couple of companies worth now.

The initial intel estimates were 1-2 companies of tanks with the possibility of there being another as a reserve. Based on what’s happened so far in the battle, I’m not confident that there is a battalion of enemy tanks out there. Well, minus roughly 2 companies at this point. 

Mad a quick technical note, the T-72AV TURMS-T likely would have performed a bit better here, on a purely technical standpoint. 

20 minutes ago, Bil Hardenberger said:

@IICptMillerII, that was exciting that’s for sure . 

I think it clearly shows two things:

1.  The M1 is just a superior tank versus the Russian made tanks.  

2.  Your opponent made a serious mistake with both of those Tank Companies, namely they were concentrated in a relatively tight grouping.  This made your target solutions easier than if he had spread them out... concentrate your fire not your tanks.  

This is a fun read!  

Agreed Bil, on both points. Though I personally think point 2 is the more significant. If my opponent had even just timed his attack a little better, deploying both of his companies against me at the same time and catching me in an instantaneous cross fire, this could have gone very differently. I also agree that my opponents spacing should have been better. Even though Soviet style companies are meant to be operated as a single unit, at the very least the platoons should have been more spread out. 

Glad you're enjoying it!

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Posted (edited)
56 minutes ago, IICptMillerII said:

Mad a quick technical note, the T-72AV TURMS-T likely would have performed a bit better here, on a purely technical standpoint.

A lot better I suspect, but those are a uniquely Syrian hybrid.....TBH CM:SF1 & 2 are slightly awkward for modelling Soviet/Russian forces, the more so now the 'T-72M1V (2001)' is gone.  :unsure:

1 hour ago, Bil Hardenberger said:

.  The M1 is just a superior tank versus the Russian made tanks.

The T-72AV is hardly a contemporary of the M1A1HC.....A T-72B1 (m.1985), T-72B1 (m.1989) or T-72BA would be more suitable (TBH a T-90 wouldn't be unreasonable). 

The first has a better armoured turret than a T-72AV, but has the same reactive armour.**

The second has better reactive armour too (this one could just about be modelled with the now vanished 'T-72M1V (2001)', although again its turret armour is too weak for a T-72B)**

The third has all of the above and better optics, but still nowhere near as good as a TURMS-T.**

** I haven't looked at the ammunition for each type but I strongly suspect it was improved between the mid eighties and the late nineties.  ;)

PS - A T-80U would be the best of all.....Damn I love those things!  :P 

 

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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Posted (edited)

When I first saw the neat line of T72s in your first shot,  my reaction - based on CMBS trauma - was “what a lovely little shooting gallery, they’re just waiting to get picked off.”

Then when they started scoring kills on your force, I thought, “but wait, this is CMSF2, the tech disparity is slightly isn’t quite as bad, maybe it’s not complete suicide for him to do that,” but in the back of my mind I was still bothered by that plan. There’s bold, and then there’s putting all one’s hopes in the charge of the light brigade pulling it off.

My gut was right. The next few shots showed that Napoleonic tactics are not a good idea in the 21st century. Never, ever line up your forces like that. @Bil Hardenbergersaid it best: 

11 hours ago, Bil Hardenberger said:

@IICptMillerII, Your opponent made a serious mistake with both of those Tank Companies, namely they were concentrated in a relatively tight grouping.  This made your target solutions easier than if he had spread them out... concentrate your fire not your tanks.  

By not doing as Bil suggests, the enemy discarded the advantage they had - numerical superiority - and amplified yours - superior equipment. Tactics decided this battle, but technology was a partner to that, had you been in T72s, this outcome would probably look very different.  

Well done on being the better tactician!

Edited by Bud Backer

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Posted (edited)

Please don't interpret my comments about the technology as a reflection on the tactics.....They should be taken at face value (if you haven't figured it out, I'm a bit of a Trackhead).  :mellow:

Had the Red player had access to roof mounted panoramic thermal sights and more modern APFSDS rounds his attack might have gone better, but that does not mean it would have ended very much differently considering the wider picture.  ;)

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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The T-62 doesn't really match up to US equipment in CMSF - obviously it's overmatched by the Abrams, but it's also often overmatched by the Bradley, which is more of a problem.

The T-72 Turms-T is in a significantly better position, but the best counter is really ATGMs on foot.

The main thing is that the Syrians don't have a chance frontally - spreading the units out allows for flank shots, and disperses the return fire. It also makes C2 more difficult, especially for ATGM teams, but that's the trade-off you have to make.

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Posted (edited)

I believe this scenario was modelled as a 'Late Cold War' concept, hence my comments about the slightly awkward choices for Soviet/Russian tanks.

TURMS-T is a western designed roof mounted panoramic thermal sight, so naturally it confers many advantages (not matched until the most recent T-72B3M/T-90A in many ways).....But as I said above it's also strictly a Syrian thing, so it has no place in a Cold War scenario:

http://www.army-guide.com/eng/product1305.html

I've taken up enough space here already, so I shall say no more that I am genuinely looking forward to the next instalment.....I've played the CM:SF1 scenarios from both sides, so I know that both sides can win this one (against the AI at least).  Based on the turns depicted above, Red's prospects seem to be deteriorating rapidly, but don't rule him out completely just yet.

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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35 minutes ago, Sulomon said:

Opfor commander here!  Yeah I did a poor job of concentrating my firepower and I allowed my forces to be destroyed piecemeal.  

I had to learn that the hard way myself. Done the same thing! 

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On ‎5‎/‎17‎/‎2019 at 2:04 PM, IICptMillerII said:

LGIeRWB.jpg

However, these killsack engagements are a sobering reminder of how quickly I can lose my command, and how crucial basic tactical fundamentals are regardless of weapons and technology.

Pure, unvarnished truth.

Simple fact is, with such incredibly tight spacing, I'll bet you dollars to doughnuts some of those tanks were either destroyed or disabled by sympathetic detonation.

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DOWN THE MSR

After the violent exchange, a momentary calm comes over the battlefield. A few enemy crewmen are seen fleeing away from the carnage, and there are a few pops and bangs from cooking off ammunition. I wait a turn or two to make sure there are no late surprises. When its clear there aren’t Task Force Miller begins to cautiously creep forward again.

Some of the tanks that were covering the infantry clearing the woods on NAI 1 are repositioned to move up and help cover the move on NAI 11.

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The calm persists as infantry from 2nd platoon cautiously approach the buildings on NAI 11 and begin to enter and clear them.

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The infantry clear the buildings without incident, discovering the corpses of what looks like an enemy infantry squad deployed in a scout role.

On the other side of the MSR, the situation is repeated. Infantry from 1st platoon clear the remaining buildings on NAI 3, discovering only corpses and the two burned out BMP-2’s.

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The final T-72 in the reverse slope killsack is destroyed. That makes 10 tanks, an entire tank company. There don’t appear to be any other fortifications or enemy units in the area.

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Back at NAI 1, the infantry are slowly making their way through the woods, trying to avoid making contact with the enemy dug in there. On the left, there is a small opening in the tree cover, looking down slope into a clearing. There are a lot of vehicle sound contacts in this clearing. I decide to move a tank over to help cover the infantry and spot for enemy vehicles.

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This quickly pays off. Just a few moments after the tank gets in position, a BMP-2 is spotted. The Abrams fires, destroying the spotted BMP-2.

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A second BMP that was unspotted but unfortunately positioned between my tank and its spotted target is killed when the sabot first passes through it on its way to its intended target. The vehicle itself remains unspotted, but a plume of smoke begins to rise into the sky, marking its location.

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A team of infantry from 3rd platoon, currently making their way through the woods over to the position the tank has taken, set up in a shallow trench next to the Abrams and immediately spot another BMP-2 in the clearing.

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The AT-4 flies true and hits the BMP-2, destroying it. The crew of the stricken vehicle bails out and are quickly greeted by a hail of bullets. Also spotted are some foxholes with a lone enemy infantryman crawling next to them.

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As suspected, this entire area looks like a fortified hornets nest. For now, I’m trying to stay along the periphery and engage opportunity targets as they appear, while trying to avoid getting sucked into a slug match in the woods.

I spoke too soon. The infantry spot another BMP-2 and attempt to engage it with the Javelin. However, this time the enemy sees me as well, and the BMP fires first. Casualties are caused, including the javelin gunner.

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This is an example of how deadly close range forest fighting such as this can be, and something I’m trying to avoid. My tank, mere meters away from this infantry team, cannot see the enemy BMP. Sight line geometry in environments like this are a nightmare.

I quickly pull the infantry back, trying to disengage from the situation. The entire platoon is able to move away without drawing any fire, though the team in the woods next to the tank takes an additional casualty and is pinned down.

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To help cover 3rd platoon by NAI 1, NAI 11 is reinforced with more infantry from 2nd platoon, as well as some tanks and Bradleys.

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NAI 11 provides good lines of sight across NAI 1, and forward along the MSR.

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The goal will be to use NAI 11 as another forward base of fire as I advance further down the MSR towards the bridge objectives. If any enemy units in the woods on NAI 1 decide to make a break for it or try to flank my units as they advance on the bridges, NAI 11 should be able to spot and interdict them.

Back on NAI 3, 1st platoon moves forward and clears the woods to their front. The road leading up to NAI 5 climbs in elevation, and has a ditch running along it. I place some infantry teams in the ditch to provide overwatch, armed with a javelin. From their position, they can see the bridge objectives, which appear to be clear of the enemy and obstacles.

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Scout team 1 moves up in its Bradley to get a better view into the back of NAI 1. The team dismounts and sets up on a berm, covered by their Cavalry Fighting Vehicle just behind them.

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Moments after setting up at the berm, the scouts spot a BMP-2.

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However, the BMP has also spotted the scouts Bradley, and the Bradley has not spotted the BMP. The javelin takes around 20 seconds or so to acquire a good lock on a target before the missile can be fired. In that time, the BMP-2 is able to fire an AT-5a at the Bradley.

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The enemy missile zips overhead and hits the Bradley, destroying it instantly, though both crewmembers survive and bail out.

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A few seconds later, the javelin is fired and the BMP-2 is destroyed. The 1:1 trade of vehicles is a bad one, especially for cavalry scouts who are generally supposed to avoid engagement if possible.

After the BMP is destroyed and no further contacts are spotted, I decide to push out the perimeter around NAI 11. Two tanks, the Company XO and 2nd platoons platoon leader, bound forward in a pair.

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They establish overwatch positions along a lightly wooded berm that can directly observe both bridge objectives, as well as the far side down the MSR. Nothing is spotted either on the Bridges or on the far side.

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With this area looking clear, more vehicles are moved up to expand the perimeter of NAI 11 and prepare an initial push for the Bridge objectives.

Back on the right at NAI 1, the bulk of 3rd platoon (infantry) are disengaging from the woods and moving across a field to an assembly area. There they will remount their Bradley’s and be moved forward to assist in the capture of the Bridge objectives. However, there are still unrecovered casualties from A Team, 3rd Squad. To help recover the casualties, B Team moves up to the shallow trench. Number 3 tank from 1st platoon is still in position trying to provide cover to the pinned down infantry.

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As soon as B Team arrives, they take fire from a BMP. 30mm HE rounds tear through the foliage and explode around the team, causing another casualty. A SAW gunner equipped with the teams AT-4 stands up through the withering incoming fire and takes aim.

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This act of bravery is rewarded. He fires his AT-4, and his aim is true. The BMP-2 is hit and destroyed.

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With this BMP-2 destroyed, all incoming fire ceases. After making sure the coast is clear, 3rd squad begins the task of recovering its casualties.

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The casualties are recovered, and the infantry and tank fall back away from NAI 1. As they clear the area, a fire mission is called down on the NAI. The mission will be a steady rate of fire for a long time (7-10 minutes) to keep anyone left in the woods pinned down.

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Superb description of the action...along with some very nice pics...

Good stuff ! ☺️

As i was reading through this last episode i was thinking...hit that place with arty ! ...and indeed,  in the last post,  i see its on its way. nice ! 

Your opponent has lost alot of AFVs so far...

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I like your style of writing. At this point you have to be feeling pretty good about how things are going. I’m sure there will be challenges ahead but you seem to be dominating the battle space. 

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16 hours ago, General Jack Ripper said:

Let the storm of steel deal with it, and good riddance.

 

3 hours ago, RepsolCBR said:

Superb description of the action...along with some very nice pics...

Good stuff ! ☺️

As i was reading through this last episode i was thinking...hit that place with arty ! ...and indeed,  in the last post,  i see its on its way. nice ! 

Your opponent has lost alot of AFVs so far...

Hitting the forest with arty is something I should have done sooner. However, it was difficult to pull my infantry out of that environment, partly due to the nature of the terrain and partly due to the enemy presence. It’s another example of why fighting in dense woods like this fortified by a decent sized enemy force is a nightmare. I’m certainly glad to be rid of the place, doubly so now that friendly artillery is plastering it. 

15 hours ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

Vicious fight, but you seem to have the upper hand.

 

2 hours ago, Bil Hardenberger said:

I like your style of writing. At this point you have to be feeling pretty good about how things are going. I’m sure there will be challenges ahead but you seem to be dominating the battle space. 

At this point in the battle I was feeling confident in my bases of fire, but I was still concerned about clearing the bridges and immediate areas surrounding the MSR. Based on what I’ve been up against, I’m expecting the enemy to have a significant amount of infantry still in play, plus there are likely more tanks out there somewhere. 

To add to that, my unit organization is very helter skelter right now, especially my tank platoons. The killsack engagement  really scattered them. In a few instances I have tanks that are paired up with tanks from different platoons. It’s an organizational nightmare and it degrades C2 a bit. It’s also hard to reorganize them because they’re all in overwatch positions, and based on prior experience I’ve put a premium on overwatch over organization. Needs of the battlefield and all that. 

Thanks for the compliment Bil! I appreciate the feedback on the more technical aspects of the AAR, such as writing, formatting, etc. I’m always open to suggestions on how to improve the presentation as a whole. 

Speaking of improving the presentation, what do people think of the font for the picture captions? I defaulted to using it as it’s the same font I use for labeling pictures, but after posting a few sections of the AAR I’m reconsidering it. To my eye, unless the image is full sized, the font seems a little hard to read. Has anyone had issues with it?

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Posted (edited)

My old eyes struggle with the font a bit TBH, but 'Ctrl +' sorts it soon enough (I wouldn't say no to it being a bit bigger though).  B)

1 hour ago, IICptMillerII said:

I was still concerned about clearing the bridges and immediate areas surrounding the MSR.

This could be the most exciting bit of the fight.....Once things close to reasonable RPG range Red can be a lot harder to handle.  If they have the PG-7R round in significant numbers they could prove to be a real handful.  :ph34r:

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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2 hours ago, IICptMillerII said:

Speaking of improving the presentation, what do people think of the font for the picture captions? I defaulted to using it as it’s the same font I use for labeling pictures, but after posting a few sections of the AAR I’m reconsidering it. To my eye, unless the image is full sized, the font seems a little hard to read. Has anyone had issues with it?

For myself, I only wish your posts were in shorter more easily digestible lengths.. but I might be alone in that.  I tend to keep my individual posts on the shorter side.. but even then some can get quite long and detailed so its a tough one.

As for the captions on the images.. font is too small for my eyes and I don't read them, mainly because I don't tend to click on images.  ;) 

Bil

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8 hours ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

My old eyes struggle with the font a bit TBH, but 'Ctrl +' sorts it soon enough (I wouldn't say no to it being a bit bigger though).  B)

This could be the most exciting bit of the fight.....Once things close to reasonable RPG range Red can be a lot harder to handle.  If they have the PG-7R round in significant numbers they could prove to be a real handful.  :ph34r:

 

7 hours ago, Bil Hardenberger said:

For myself, I only wish your posts were in shorter more easily digestible lengths.. but I might be alone in that.  I tend to keep my individual posts on the shorter side.. but even then some can get quite long and detailed so its a tough one.

As for the captions on the images.. font is too small for my eyes and I don't read them, mainly because I don't tend to click on images.  ;) 

Bil

Thanks for the technical feedback! I'll experiment with some new fonts and font sizes for next time. 

As to the length, I agree. I've been thinking about ways to cut down and shorten things to help streamline them. Its tough though, because I also do not want to leave out any of the action or context as to whats happening and why. When I set out to make this AAR I was thinking of it more like a long report, with chapters/sections. When its finished I'm going to post the whole thing as a PDF for those that want to read through it that way. Next time I'll try to streamline or restructure so that the updates are more bite sized. 

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